Disabled woman speaks out to save job of helpful bus driver

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - An angry disabled Columbus woman is going to bat to save a bus driver's job.

The METRA worker gave the lady a ride even though she didn't have a required identification card but when a METRA manager found out--the response sent the woman into a tirade.

That's when she called News Leader's Roslyn Giles to investigate.

A routine trip to the grocery store turned out to be more than what Katyryn White bargained for.

She called News Leader 9 Wednesday afternoon in a tirade complaining about how a METRA bus driver's compassion could cause her to lose her job.

"Just out of kindness she let me on the bus," White said. "I dipped my bus disabled card and came here to the Winn Dixie on South Lumpkin."

White said her bus pass is good through mid-October. She had her driver's license but also needed to show her Medicare card. In White's case, all three forms of ID are required by METRA in order to receive the reduced rate.  The full fare of a $1.30 is cut in half for students, seniors and the disabled.

Carrying seven bags full of things like canned goods, fresh pineapple and milk and another grocery bag stuffed inside her backpack, White frantically got off the bus. However, it was the bus driver's demeanor the bothered her the most.

"Not very kind looking expression in his eyes, almost like he enjoyed that he wronged me," said White.

White said she then called METRA to tell them about how she was denied a ride home, but the focus of the conversation with a METRA manager shifted to the first driver who bent the rules.

"She said that woman could lose her job, and people get fired for doing that," White said.

White then went into a frenzy.

"I thought that was wrong, this woman was kind to me, now she is going to get fired," she said.

The manager offered to send a supervisor to the S. Lumpkin Road Winn Dixie to take her home.

Using her mobile phone, White called News Leader 9 instead.

On the way to speak with White, Roslyn Giles passed the METRA driver sent to pick her up. However, White said she refused, demanding a letter that METRA would not fire the first lady who helped her out.

"I said 'the news is coming," White said. "He said, 'don't worry about that you just need to get on my bus and I will take you home' and I said 'not so fast, not anymore."

We reached out to METRA for a comment. The director, Sandra Hunter, said this is a personal matter and would not answer our question as to whether the nice driver would get fired.

For now, White said she's going to look at the situation on the bright side and ride her bike for exercise instead of taking the bus.  

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved.